Your totally wacky and totally made up trade speculation of the day

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The sports schedule needs to figure out how to eliminate the couple of weeks between the Super Bowl and the spring training games starting because that void leads to boredom and that boredom leads to stuff like this from Harold Reynolds — laundered to arguable respectability by Ken Rosenthal — to bubble up to the surface:

Albert Pujols for Mark Teixeira.

And, if that doesn’t work, Pujols for Ryan Howard.

Think it’s nuts? Think again.

Rosenthal argues for it by suggesting that the Yankees need to “make a splash” and that the Cardinals would love to unload the Pujols contract headache. Pujols has a no-trade clause, but he’d agree to it, Rosenthal says. He may be right about that part.  Teixeira has one too, and Rosenthal says he’d agree to it.  That would make no sense.  Why would Teixeira want to leave the Yankees and willingly try to fill the shoes of a Cardinals legend? A legend, by the way, who is way better and way more beloved than Teixeira will ever be by Cardinals fans.  Rosenthal says the Cards could play him more to agree, but isn’t money the roadblock to keeping Pujols?

Rosenthal goes on to talk about a Howard-Pujols trade, which if I remember correctly got Buster Olney nearly laughed off the Internet last spring.  Or a trade to the Tigers for Miguel Cabrera because, you know, Pujols would just love to play in Detroit. He ends it all with a trade for Adrian Gonzalez, sending Pujols to Boston. That would probably make more sense than any of the other ones but that’s damning with faint praise given that all of these are psychotic scenarios.

Which isn’t to slam Rosenthal. He all but admits that they’re psychotic scenarios at the outset of his article.  I think he, like a lot of us, is just bored.

Phillies walk off winners thanks to a poor decision by Marcell Ozuna

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The Phillies’ bullpen, which has not been good as of late, gift-wrapped Monday’s game for the Cardinals. Starter Nick Pivetta was brilliant, fanning 13 while allowing two runs in 7 1/3 innings. But things unraveled after he left the game. Victor Arano took over for Edubray Ramos to start the ninth inning with the Phillies leading 4-2, but he allowed a one-out single and a double. After striking out Harrison Bader, Arano appeared to strike out Yairo Munoz for the final out of the game, but the ball trickled through the legs of catcher Andrew Knapp, allowing a run to score and the tying run to move to third base. Lefty Adam Morgan came in to face pinch-hitter Kolten Wong. Wong tied the game up, sneaking a single into center field.

In the 10th inning, Jake Thompson gave up the go-ahead run on a leadoff home run to Tommy Pham. It seemed like it was just going to be another one of those losses that have become increasingly common for the Phillies lately. But the Phillies’ offense didn’t go down quietly, even though it hadn’t put a runner on second base since the start of the second inning when J.P. Crawford doubled. In the bottom half of the 10th, Hoskins blooped a single into shallow left-center to start the inning. Hoskins moved to second base on a ground out from Odubel Herrera. Matt Bowman intentionally walked Carlos Santana, then struck out Jesmuel Valentin. That brought up Aaron Altherr, who replaced Nick Williams after Williams took a baseball to the face off of the right field fence. Bowman fell behind 2-1, then threw a 90 MPH fastball that Altherr lined into left field. Rather than keep the ball in front of him, Marcell Ozuna decided to dive for the ball to make the final out, but he missed. The ball trickled past him, allowing the tying and the game-winning runs to score, giving the Phillies a come-from-behind win.

On the list of people happy to see Ozuna miss that ball are Altherr (of course), Arano, Morgan, and Thompson. But perhaps no one was happier than manager Gape Kapler. The win might help take the heat off of him somewhat after another poor performance from the bullpen. When a team struggles, everyone wants a scapegoat and Kapler is an easy target. He has been all year, undeservingly.

Phillies radio broadcaster and former major league reliever Larry Anderson said after the bullpen meltown, “Not everybody can pitch in the ninth inning. And I know Gabe Kapler thinks they can, but they can’t.” Aside from Ramos and Seranthony Dominguez (who was unavailable after throwing 52 pitches between Saturday and Sunday in Milwaukee), no one in that bullpen has been reliable. The closer, Hector Neris, just got optioned to Triple-A. You work with what you have, and right now, Kapler doesn’t have a whole lot. Thankfully for him, he wasn’t punished with another loss thanks to Ozuna.